Updated Market Research Tools for Commercial Real Estate Summer 2019

Revised for Summer 2019: The Top Commercial Real Estate Research Tools and Books

New technologies continue to change the way that we live our lives and the way we work. Thanks to a range of  commercial real estate technologies, agents and brokers now have access to more information than ever before.  At CXRE, we use the latest commercial real estate research tools to help you find the perfect commercial properties.

2019’s 20 Top Commercial Real Estate Research Tools

Commercial real estate agents and brokers work hard. Because of this, agents should take advantage of as many of these 15 tools as they can. Not only will they be able to work smarter, but they will also provide their clients with the most accurate, most up-to-date information possible. Below are the 15 top commercial real estate research tools for 2019:

1. CRM (Customer-Relationship Management)

Topping the list is the commercial real estate research tool no commercial broker or agent should be without. Not only does a CRM like ClientLook let you manage prospects, clients, and your pipeline, but it also has back-office functions. In addition, with a mobile-friendly CRM, you can take your office with you.

2. Research & Analytics

Analytic systems make commercial real estate research, learning about vacancy research, and a host of other tasks much easier. As a result, commercial real estate research analysts can benefit from systems like Reonomy and REIS.

3. GIS (Geographic Information Systems)

In essence, GIS systems hold useful geographic and spatial data. By using a GIS, commercial real estate researchers can offer better advice to clients using important geographic data. There a number of GIS platforms for commercial real estate research, like Esri.

4. Building Research

It is essential to know as much as possible about properties and buildings. This is one of the main reasons to find good real estate market research tools. For example, a commercial real estate research tool like Reonomy offers data on 99% of all U.S. commercial real estate assets.

5. Document Generation

Few things are more embarrassing for a professional commercial real estate agent than being without the necessary paperwork. Not only is it embarrassing, but missing docs delay deals. Because of this, a reliable document generation tool, like the one in REI Wise, keeps you from missing anything.

6. Leasing and Asset Management

Tools like VisualLease allow commercial real estate professionals to market, manage, and lease an entire portfolio of assets.

7. Marketing

Numerous marketing tools exist for commercial real estate. Some automate certain process to make agents’ jobs easier. Others, like Matterport, are specialized marketing tools which produce virtual walkthroughs of properties.

8. Valuation

Tools like Bowery let agents quickly and easily determine the value of a property. In particular, this data is invaluable to real estate investors.

9. Mapping Technology

Zillow helps homebuyers find homes. However, commercial real estate requires more robust real estate research tools. In brief, mapping programs like LandVision let brokers find properties quicker, see detailed property information, and even contact property owners.

10. Property Management

These commercial real estate research tools help property managers track tenants and properties. Specialized commercial real estate research tools, like Aquicore, even provide real-time analytics for energy usage.

11. Benchmark Tools

Enter property info and the tool evaluates benchmarks like debt coverage ratio and gross rent multiplier. Also, commercial real estate research tools like RealBench can compare several properties at once.

12. Employee Payroll

Getting your people paid is crucial to keeping them happy. Since commercial real estate is typically paid by commissions, special payroll tools like Brokermint and CommissionTrac are necessary.

13. Comp Tracker

Comps (or comparables) are a cornerstone of commercial real estate. Accurate information about comps from platforms like CompStak offer a solid idea how much your clients should pay to lease or purchase a property.

14. Social Networks

Social media takes networking to an entirely new level. However, even though established networks (Facebook, Twitter) are useful, CRE-specific social networks like RealConnex are industry specific.

15. Project Management

Without a doubt, commercial real estate projects are complicated. Thankfully, there are solutions designed to keep all the details organized. For owners, project management tools like Honest Buildings, help them to manage their capital projects more efficiently and effectively.

16. Cash Flow

PlanEASe is specifically geared towards the analysis of multi-unit residential and office property management. With it, a commercial real estate researcher can easily access cash flow analysis and financial analysis.

17. Investment Tracking

For commercial real estate investors, there are real estate tools like Property Tracker. This web-based tool helps investors to manage all of their investments.

18. Automate Payments

Keeping track of invoices and payments is crucial to any business’ success. To help manage these and other details, there are great tools like AvidXChange. This tool allows you to automate many processes like responding to vendors and cutting checks.

19. Multi-Purpose Tools

Some brokers and agents want powerful commercial real estate tools that can multi-task. CRE Suite is one such tool that can analyze, map, and share resources with your team.

20. Messaging Automation

Sending messages can be both tedious and time-consuming. With a platform like Shape, you can automate your messaging. The platform has other functions as well, such as email and calendar syncing, reporting, and integration with tools like MailChimp, Zillow, and IDX Broker.

The Top Commercial Real Estate Research Tools to Meet All Your Needs

These 20 commercial real estate research tools can provide accurate, up-to-date information for brokers and agents. What’s more, these solutions can make life easier for a commercial real estate researcher. As central Texas’ leading firm, CXRE does the commercial real estate research for you. Not only can CXRE assist you with office leasing, but we also handle purchases of various commercial properties. In addition, we handle medical offices, land deals, industrial warehouses, retail properties, and others.

Top 5 Commercial Real Estate Books

Having the right tools is important. But without foundational knowledge of commercial real estate, you won’t be able to use these 20 tools as effectively. So to help expand your commercial real estate knowledge and work smarter, here are CXRE’s top 5 commercial real estate books.

1. The Real Estate Game: The Intelligent Guide to Decision Making and Investment, by William J. Poorvu and Jeffrey L. Cruikshank

Learn from an expert. In this book, Poorvu offers tips from his 40 years of experience in commercial real estate and 30 years as a Harvard Business School professor. Throughout the book, you’ll find techniques and tools as well as case studies which teach you how to evaluate, develop, and operate real estate investments.

2.The Millionaire Real Estate Agent, by Gary Keller

Gary Keller is the Founder and Chairman of the Board of Keller Williams Realty International (the nation’s largest privately held real estate agency). Keller explains key concepts to help you think like a millionaire agent. But Keller doesn’t merely offer theories, he provides step-by-step instructions for netting a million dollars annually.

3.Value Added: Successful Strategies for Listing & Selling Investment Real Estate, by Brad Umansky

Regardless of what phase your commercial real estate investment career is in, you can always improve. Since 1992, Umansky has worked been in commercial real estate and has had a hand in 600+ commercial transactions. In this book, he examines strategies for listing and selling various property types.

4. Good to Great, by Jim Collins

Based on years of research, this book analyzes 28 companies and examines the keys to each company’s success. Collins presents a few common management strategies and practices that lead to success.

5. Managing Oneself, by Peter F. Drucker

In this book, Drucker helps you to explore yourself and understand your actions. Referred to by many as the founder of modern management, Drucker believed that each individual is responsible for their career. As a result, this book encourages you to understand yourself and identify your ‘best strengths and worst weaknesses’.


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Do Your Homework: Commercial Real Estate Market Research

As a commercial real estate professional, it is important to understand relevant topics and key issues related to the sector. For example, understanding the various submarkets where you operate is important. This will help you compare ‘apples to apples’ and do the best possible research for your clients.

Furthermore, doing your homework let’s you stay informed about cap rate changes, interest rates, leasing changes, and other issues related to commercial real estate. Also, staying on top of local and national investing trends will help you to better serve your investor clients.

What’s more, one of the major keys to success in commercial real estate is people. As a commercial real estate broker or agent, surrounding yourself with the right sorts of people – qualified, experienced professionals – will reduce headaches and improve your efficiency. On the other hand, the wrong sorts or people can make your job harder. Simply put, having knowledgeable people in your corner helps to reduce problems and keep the entire process running smoothly.

Starting with your broker team, make sure the people around you know what they’re doing. Since the numbers don’t lie, look at their track record to see how they’ve performed. Also, look at their character and examine whether they the types of people you want to work alongside. What’s more, your team should be able to differentiate between and understand the implications of using various lease types (NNN, NN, Gross, etc.).

However, apart from just working alongside a solid brokerage team, commercial real estate agents also need other high-quality partners. The importance of working with experienced CPAs and solid attorneys cannot be overstated enough. As stated above, partnering with excellent individuals and reputable firms run by experienced people will make your job simpler your work.

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